SNAPSHOT2 min read

Infographic - how can we tackle the food and water crisis?

We provide a snapshot of the huge issues the world faces and what might help tackle them.

Food and Water Hero


Valentina Romeo
Investment Writer

If energy insecurity remains a big problem for many countries today, the food and water crisis represents an even bigger problem. But what does this crisis entail?

Since the pandemic, there has been increased awareness of the world’s resources and how to protect them as temperatures rise, populations grow, and the sustainability of the food and water supply chain is put under pressure.

The conflict in Ukraine has placed an extra strain on food production and supply and highlighted the vulnerability of many resources systems.

Adding to the existing worries, in the spring and summer of 2022 many countries in Europe saw some of the most extreme droughts ever experienced. Once a very rare event in this part of the world, the droughts were caused by a perfect storm of a lack of rainfall, pollution and over-consumption. Around 30% of Europeans are currently affected by water scarcity every year.

Worryingly, the vice-president of the World Bank said back in 2009 that “the wars of the twenty-first century will be about water unless we change the way we manage it”.

Across the whole system in food and water, it's estimated that around $30 trillion needs to be spent to make the system sustainable.

Mark Lacey, Head of Global Resource Equities, said: “If we do not change, we are going to see increasing negative feedback loops. At a two degree global warming scenario, corn yield for example, would fall by more than 20%. Likewise, if we don't change, we're going to have to use more land for agriculture, to feed the growing population. That results in more deforestation. That results in collapsing species. And actually, an acceleration in climate change and global warming.

‘We're going to see mass desertification of areas throughout Africa. That in turn, will trigger food security crises, mass immigration. You can very quickly paint a picture of how this plays out. And ultimately, all of this could end up with a mass hyperinflation of food. Which is really, a terrifying prospect and one that we haven't seen for generations.”

Despite the gloomy scenario, change is possible and many companies as well as consumers themselves can provide practical solutions to the crisis.

Felix Odey, Portfolio Manager, Global Resource Equities, said: “We are seeing a lot of technologies and data applications coming through that are massively helping to boost agricultural yields. Things like gene editing and genetic modification are controversial in certain markets. But likewise, if that allows continents like Latin America to leapfrog some of the more developed agricultural markets, and actually require less pesticide and lower amounts of fertiliser, all of this is going to have a huge, positive impact.

“The consumer is central to this. If our diets do even just moderate a little bit, we can have huge impacts on global greenhouse gas emissions, throughout the food and water sector.”

In this infographic, we look at the key problems and solutions to the food and water crisis and how society can work together to solve it.


Important Information:

This document is issued by Schroder Investment Management Australia Limited (ABN 22 000 443 274, AFSL 226473) (Schroders). It is intended solely for wholesale clients (as defined under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) and is not suitable for distribution to retail clients. This document does not contain and should not be taken as containing any financial product advice or financial product recommendations. This document does not take into consideration any recipient’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any decision relating to a Schroders fund, you should obtain and read a copy of the product disclosure statement available at or other relevant disclosure document for that fund and consider the appropriateness of the fund to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should also refer to the target market determination for the fund at All investments carry risk, and the repayment of capital and performance in any of the funds named in this document are not guaranteed by Schroders or any company in the Schroders Group. The material contained in this document is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for accounting, legal or tax advice. Schroders does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information which is contained in this document. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Schroders, every company in the Schroders plc group, and their respective directors, officers, employees, consultants and agents exclude all liability (however arising) for any direct or indirect loss or damage that may be suffered by the recipient or any other person in connection with this document. Opinions, estimates and projections contained in this document reflect the opinions of the authors as at the date of this document and are subject to change without notice. “Forward-looking” information, such as forecasts or projections, are not guarantees of any future performance and there is no assurance that any forecast or projection will be realised. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. All references to securities, sectors, regions and/or countries are made for illustrative purposes only and are not to be construed as recommendations to buy, sell or hold. Telephone calls and other electronic communications with Schroders representatives may be recorded.


Valentina Romeo
Investment Writer


Sustainable food and water
Alpha Equity
Market views
Global Transformation
Our sales team is available to discuss with you any investment opportunities.
Follow us

This website is owned and operated by Schroder Investment Management Australia Limited (ABN 22 000 443 274, AFSL 226473).  Your access to this website is subject to the Terms of Use found by clicking the ‘Important Information’ link below.  By using this website, you agree to be subject to these Terms of Use.